Slugger’s PBR Blogburst Special…

Kicking off, Labour MP Paul Flynn thinks the Chancellor has shot the Tory fox… That’s not quite the impression you get from wandering the British blogoshere… Left have, it seems, resumed sullen silence… The right are in full cry… The big idea of the day comes from the Adam Smith Institute which suggests temporary tax measures are rubbish, and argues that tax thresholds should be raised (costing £19b) to help the poorest..- So what about Darling’s figures (upon which hangs the credibility of his rescue of UK PLC)? Alphaville says they stack up until he gets to the recovery of 2010 at which point they begin to diverge substantially…

– And from Frazer’s notes at the Institute for Fiscal Studies Presser this morning, the city cash cow has gone (as has the Housing market money generator) an embarrassing little U-Turn from Darling/Brown:

In total, the IFS sees £35bn of cuts from future spending plans. Carl Emmerson pointed out this was the figure Brown accused The Tories of planning in the 2005 election. In Brown’s own words, £35bn represents “Cuts so large, they can only be found by cutting deep into public services including schools, hospitals and the police.”

– An uncharacteristically cerebral post from Guido who “wonders if we are finally seeing the the delayed end of the twentieth century era of Anglo-American global dominance”. He also points to a piece in the WSJ which warns:

As governments race to fill the vacuum left by the collapse of a particular model of financial capitalism, they would do well to remember that the perils of overly light regulation can be more than matched by heavy-handed interventionism of a kind that distorts and inhibits markets. They need only look at half a century of experience with agriculture policy.

– His Grace is almost beside himself:

This was not a pre-budget budget for recovery, but one to postpone the suffering of millions while the malignant tumour spreads. It was not the required treatment, not the prescribed medicine, and not the necessary invasive surgery. One must pray the patient does not die, for resurrection may be beyond even the next Conservative administration {Emphasis added].

As with the banking crisis, the concern is “whether current help will plug the hole for good,or only temporarily to make a larger one in the future”…

– Oh, and if that ‘tax bombshell’ line in the Commons yesterday from the Shadow Chancellor sounded familiar that’s because it is. Danny links a piece from Alice Miles in the Times who notes:

The Tories ran a devastating poster campaign (invented by Mr Cameron and his right-hand man Steve Hilton) still remembered with dread by everybody involved in Labour’s 1992 election attempt: the tax bombshell. Rebranded yesterday by Mr Osborne as “not just a tax bombshell, a precision guided missile”, the same advertisement is flying out of Conservative Central Office again today.

– Indeed, Bob Piper reckons the VAT window is the opportunity for Labour to cut and run for an election…

Mr E believes that whenever there is an election, Labour has left the Tories a dirty big problem when they get in the door of No 10:

By the time the bills come in, Darling will be sitting on the Opposition benches jeering every Tory proposal for how to pay them (and, with the loss of ministerial office, he’ll be well below the £150,000 tax threshold he announced yesterday). This is not so much a tax bombshell as a tax landmine, buried just below the surface; at first sight the terrain doesn’t look too bad, but just you wait till you try to get to the other side.

– Tim argues on Comment is Free that the hole Labour were trying to fill was as much political as fiscal

– On the left, Dave is less than impressed with a budget aimed at paying for a national bailout the banking system…

– Martin Bright suggests the Labour party might do well to use “What would you do George?” as an election slogan…

– Ben Brogan confirms that the Tory slogan will not be Recession: it’s so bracing

– And finally on this subject, here’s one to put the fear of God into all Labour party stalwarts

Meanwhile in the States, a Conservative driven bailout 25 times the size of the British one continues apace…

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  • Ann

    I thought the best and most stupid of all was Polly Toynbee…

    Even if unemployment reaches 3 million, that still leaves 90% in secure jobs. Most people will suffer not at all in this recession: on the contrary they will do well as prices fall and the real value of their earnings rises.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/nov/25/pre-budget-report-economy1

  • Mick

    Only stupid if she’s proved wrong… besides, it was only a riff on the theme, since removed and apologised for, by Andrew Lansley…